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Batman 3.19 – Nora Clavicle and the Ladies’ Crime Club

This one is painful. Daniel adored it; the resolution involves leading several thousand explosive mice into the harbor playing tunes on flutes, and he thought that was incredibly charming and had a big smile on his face. I was grimacing because, in an episode that’s mainly filmed on the backlot, the producers somehow came up with the dopey idea to shoot the final scene in that awful limbo set.

But while Daniel smiled and I grimaced, Marie just fumed at the sexist awfulness of this very dated disaster. I suspect the writer must have been a real hit down at the Moose Lodge complaining about the womenfolk thinking that they could do men’s jobs. But the men doing the jobs in Gotham City are the most incompetent gang of numbskulls on television. Solution: make the women even worse.

Mayor Linseed’s wife has withheld cooking and dry cleaning until he appoints women’s libber Nora Clavicle as police commissioner. A month in, and unable to do his own shirts or learn to cook, he caves. Clavicle is played by Barbara Rush, a film star who had recently made the great Robin and the 7 Hoods with the Rat Pack and Peter Falk, and she’s accompanied by two blonde amazons in gold lame. (Incidentally, one of the amazons is played by June Wilkinson. Unfortunately, Jayne Mansfield had been killed about six months previously. Had she been alive to play the other character, that would have been the one good joke in the whole episode.)

Clavicle fires O’Hara and hires Mrs. Linseed as the new chief, and she then sacks the entire police force and replaces them with every screaming stereotype that the real women’s libbers in ’68 were warring against. I remembered that all the policewomen were terrified of the robot mice, because it was the 1960s and that happened on TV a lot then, and I was certain that would aggravate Marie. What I did not remember, apart from Linseed’s awful marriage, was that the policewomen cannot do their jobs because they are too busy putting on makeup, swapping recipes, gossiping, and using the police radio to alert each other to bargains at the shops.

Daniel occasionally enjoys the shows that we watch more than the grown-ups do. This was one of those times.

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